The more I learned about Churches Burn, the more I thought of that White Stripes song "Offend in Every Way."

The more I learned about Churches Burn, the more I thought of that White Stripes song "Offend in Every Way."

The band name is obvious bait, sure, but they're also after the secular devout - consider recent live album O.H.F.U., their second free online release this year.

That record's final cut, "The Lutzko Stomp," pays tribute to one of Columbus rock's most notorious provocateurs, and Churches Burn has a split 7-inch in the works with another band whose inflammatory name we can't print.

I've never been loathe to let bands describe themselves if it's accurate, and the "stonerviolence" tag that adorns Churches Burn's MySpace page is right on.

Their sludgy, rudimentary take on metal delivers all the face-pounding aggression and simplicity of the hardcore micro-genre known as "powerviolence" - for a quick primer, there's a 20-minute Infest concert on YouTube - but the riffs lurch along at sludgy stoner metal tempos like knockout blows on slow motion replay.

Watching this crew live for the first time Friday at Carabar, I was mesmerized by the methodical approach. Brian Carnahan's growls were mostly obscured by the monolithic dirge of a two-bass attack girded by rancid guitar noise and less-is-more thuds.

Usually a monotonous monstrosity like this would lull me to sleep, but a few things about Churches Burn set them apart. Andrew Rahman's explosive din elevated the music from a set of slow-burn pentatonic riffs into some darkly psychedelic nightmare realm. Furthermore, it seemed as though honest-to-god songs were bubbling underneath all this ruckus, churned by years of paranoia from Smeagols into Gollums.

My first pick to open for this band would not be Lydia Loveless, but the 19-year-old songstress has more in common with all that clatter than you'd think. After all, at one point Friday she did sing the lyric "Jesus was a wino too."

Since the waning days of Carson Drew, the power-pop band where she played bass alongside her teenage sisters and their dad, Loveless has been going it solo with honky-tonk tales of booze-guzzling and romance gone wrong.

Considering nobody could tell what Carnahan was singing about, the clearest common thread between Churches Burn and Loveless was both acts' knack for taking a very simple trick and repeating it to excellence.

In Loveless' case, that meant rambunctious barroom anthems built on four chords or less, usually country tearjerkers but occasionally '60s pop ditties. She strummed an acoustic guitar and belted out sour lyrics with a songbird's sweetness, backed by a newly assembled band that served the songs well.

Her pops, Parker Chandler, remained behind the drum kit, while Benjamin Lamb rocked the upright bass, pausing now and again for some spins that were more goofy and endearing than flashy. Mike Folker's guitar work, especially his reverb-crazy solo late in the set, was particularly stunning.

I don't think this lineup played on Loveless' upcoming Peloton Records debut, but their show got me excited for that disc to drop.